Finding a map app that is capable of plotting our 15,000km long route through over a dozen different countries is almost impossible. Google Maps just throws an error message at you while Open Street Maps doesn’t seem to handle additional waypoints. Only thanks to HERE Wego, which (almost*) did the job right, you can look at our approximate cycling route for the coming months.
(* I say “almost” because for reasons unknown, HERE Wego refuses to plot any route through Myanmar as if there weren’t any roads there at all. I hope there are.)
Jona will be coming from his home town and pick me up in Brussels; in fact, he’s already on his way right now! Our first stop is Frankfurt/Germany (to see my family), then we’ll be crossing Bavaria and go down the Danube to Vienna (some more family there). We plan to continue through Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia and Bulgaria to Istanbul. By then I hope that German-Turkish relations will have improved a bit — go Angie!
After crossing Turkey in November we will — insh’allah — pick up our Iran visas at the Iranian consulate in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey, and cross the border to Iran some time in December. Iran is going to be a long and cold ride with temperatures in the northern part possibly down to -15°C/5°F and a constant altitude of about 1,000m on the central plateau. There are two deserts to cross (yes, we will bring enough water), many wonderful places to visit, and over 2,500km of cycling before we reach the border with Pakistan.
As of today, Iran and Pakistan maintain only one open border crossing which is on the road to Quetta (a town I would usually prefer to avoid). Although there are reports about plans to open a new border post further south, it does unfortunately not seem to be “operational” yet according to people in the country and officials I asked.
If (and that’s a big if) we make it into Pakistan, we will aim at continuing through India, optionally Nepal and/or Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, where — in my fairyland-little-brother-dreamworld — my older brother and his wife will be waiting for us with a freshly baked Pizza Hawaii and a cup of dark hot chocolate.
Happy End. 🚴💨